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Birla Cellulose & Nanollose file patent for Lyocell

Jan 13, 2021
Birla Cellulose & Nanollose file patent for Lyocell

Grasim Industries Limited, a company listed on National Stock Exchange of India, Bombay Stock Exchange and Luxembourg Stock Exchange and Nanollose Limited, a company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange have filed a joint patent application for a high tenacity lyocell fibre made from bacterial cellulose.

A team of fibre experts at Birla Cellulose, a unit of Grasim Industries, at its Pulp and Fibre Innovation Centre have produced nullarbor lyocell fibre that is finer than silk and significantly stronger than conventional lyocell made from wood pulp.

The lyocell market is predicted to be worth US$1.5 billion by 2024, growing with a CAGR of around 8 per cent. Birla Cellulose and Nanollose will now focus on taking this success to the pilot production phase to produce initial commercial quantities of fibre to enable commercial agreements with fashion brands. The joint patent provides the companies with additional intellectual property, a superior fibre and enhances the collaboration between Birla Cellulose and Nanollose.

In February 2020, Grasim Industries Limited signed a collaboration agreement with Nanollose, to exclusively explore and develop Nanollose’s Tree-Free fibres including nullarbor and nufolium.

The patent application, entitled High Tenacity Lyocell Fibres From Bacterial Cellulose and Method of Preparation Thereof, represents a major advancement over Nanollose’s previous viscose versions of nullarbor and nufolium.

Lyocell is a form of rayon, made using a closed loop process with low demand on chemical and water usage and low waste generation. This makes it very environment-friendly and brings with it an elevated demand from clothing brands. Lyocell is widely used in textile and nonwoven applications and has become popular due to a number of desirable strength and comfort characteristics. Furthermore, the combination of the Nanollose’s Tree-Free cellulose, along with Birla Cellulose’s closed-loop lyocell production process, could potentially make this Tree-Free lyocell one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable fibres available.

The joint patent application strengthens the intellectual property portfolio of both companies and provides protection for this innovative Tree-Free fibre technology. The nullarbor lyocell fibers are produced using feedstock from industrial and agricultural organic waste.

The Chief Technology Officer of the Aditya Birla Group and Birla Cellulose, Aspi Patel, said,” This innovative development is another important step in our continuing journey to make our fibres more sustainable. This is an exciting development in the area of next generation alternative feedstock and we are looking forward to scaling up this technology in collaboration with Nanollose.”

Commenting on the patent, Nanollose Executive Chairman, Wayne Best, said, “We are extremely pleased with the progress of our collaboration with Birla Cellulose which has already delivered this joint patent application. The nullarbor fibre produced by the team at Birla Cellulose has exceeded our expectations, and we now have a fibre that is not only more eco-friendly but has superior properties over conventional tree-based fibres. We are very much looking forward to commencing the pilot production and presenting textiles made from this remarkable fibre to the fashion industry.”

The collaboration agreement provides Nanollose with a world class and globally recognised industrial partner, with the ability to accelerate development, commercialisation and provide a manufacturing foundation for future textile and clothing brands that uptake Nanollose’s Tree-Free fibres.